2014 NaNoWriMo “Everything is Jake” Plan

2013-Winner-Square-ButtonNaNoWriMo founder, Chris Baty, said about the very first NaNoWriMo in 1999 “We had taken the cloistered, agonized novel-writing process and transformed it into something that was half literary marathon and half block party.” (No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty)

It’s been a busy year. I self-published five books. I survived the Brea/LaHabra earthquake and nine WiFi outages. I attended several conferences, seminars, and writing retreats. Took German lessons. I travelled to Colorado, Alaska, and the Caribbean. In beat sheets and strange settings, I transported back to 1924 and forward to a shattered future. Knitted a zillion caps and socks.

I mention all that to explain why I have only the foggiest idea what I’ll be doing for November’s 2014 NaNoWriMo. As a full-throttle control freak, I’ve come up with the following “Everything is Jake” Plan for NaNo:

1.  Fill the freezer with baked salmon and empanadas and the fridge with bags of lettuce and chopped veggies. Boil eggs. Ensure I have enough Seville Orange marmalade for a month of daily crumpets.

2.  Stock up on printer paper, writing pads, Pilot G2 07 pens, and trash bags.

3.  Put story ideas in a bowl and pick one. Dash off some cryptic notes. (You know what I mean. Thoughts about premise, characters, names of characters, setting, first line, defining moment, psychological state of two main characters at the beginning and ultimate transformation of both at the end, slang used in 1924 California, and a couple of details about the call for King Wilhem’s abdication in 1908).

Wilhelm_II._1905This is how NaNoWriMo is meant to be. On November 1st, we will stand at the precipice and fly.

I wrote my first NaNo novel in 2006. Eight years later, I have written 50,000 words (and more) every November and facilitated a cohort of like-minded fanatics. I like having travel companions for shared griping, celebrating, and friendly competition to spur us each to glory. As Chris Baty (founder of NaNoWriMo in 1999 and author of No Plot? No Problem!) wrote:

“Combine a deadline with a supportive community, and great stuff will happen every time.”

50,000 words in 30 days. For these 30 days, I’ll send out a few words of encouragement and the current tally of words for each member. It’s almost a rule that you start November 1st with a fresh idea, a token stab at a few characters, and the barest outline possible. See the website and/or Baty’s book for more information.

Who would like to join me? I guarantee a rollercoaster experience. For the mighty ones who finish? A virtual ticker tape parade.

Please let me know by October 25.


About mlknowlden

In 2011, I left engineering to write full-time. Between the years 1992 and 2011, I’ve published 14 stories with Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine that have featured the hypochondriac detective Micky Cardex and two stories that did not. The 1998 story “No, Thank You, John” was nominated for a Shamus award. Many of these stories have been included in anthologies and translated in multiple languages. With Neal Shusterman, I’ve also published a science fiction story for the More Amazing Stories anthology (Tor) published in 1998 and co-authored with Neal Shusterman an X-Files Young Adult novel (DARK MATTER) for HarperCollins in 1999 under the name Easton Royce. For Simon & Schuster in July 2012, we published an e-novella UNSTRUNG in Neal's UNWIND world. I have graduate degrees in English and Electrical Engineering.
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10 Responses to 2014 NaNoWriMo “Everything is Jake” Plan

  1. Ken Lew says:

    One small problem (excuse) I may be busy for a week in November. Maybe I can make up the missing time somehow. Any hints?

    e-mail: ken_lew@ieee.org

    • mlknowlden says:

      HI KEN! Since you are encouraged to write like the wind, meaning no editing, you could have your daily 1667 words finished in about 90 minutes. I’d give it a go. You do write fast and you could make up lost days during the other weeks. There is the long Thanksgiving weekend, too. Best wishes!

  2. L.J. Sherlock says:

    I haven’t decided that i will write for nanowrimo this year, but i may do some artwork instead. Ive been longing to get back to oil painting so that may be the direction that i go this year. We’ll see. I will let you know soon.

    L.J. From my Android phone

  3. Kaye Klem says:

    michelle, I’m impressed!!! You’re so productive. Unhappily, I can’t do the Nanowrimo thing; but I’ll be cheering you on!

  4. Kristy Tate says:

    I want to do it…I think. I’ve always chickened out in the past. Deadlines tend to paralyze me.

  5. John W PEECHER says:

    Michelle, I would like to join your intrepid cadre of scribblers for Nanowrimo.

    Best John

    Sent from my iPhone


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